This is a scary time to be pregnant in the time of the coronavirus. When Zika virus hit, it impacted pregnant women with lasting effects on their children. It was scary, terrifying and life-time impacts on children and families. When I was young, polio impacted us as young children and young adults … not so much the elderly.
Imagine if COVID-19 was killing our children? I’ve been able to find this link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2020/03/23/im-about-deliver-baby-middle-pandemic-im-not-panicking-yet/
And about children: https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/doctor-note-coronavirus-children-200322092356989.html
Today I want to discuss the reality … women birthing without their partner or doula. For 50 years, I and our New Zealand NGO, Common Knowledge Trust (for 25 years) has advocated that all expectant parents learn birth and birth-coaching skills. That notion was dismissed and rejected by the Natural Birth Movement and Homebirth Midwives.
In fact, a famous author advocated for women to be left alone to ‘discover birth themselves’ and natural birth advocates gushed at watching him be in another room while a woman labored.
A famous midwife said: “Midwives should sit in the corner and knit”. During the 1960-70s when mothers and fathers attended Lamaze, Bradley or Dick Grantly-Read classes, fathers were expected to be the ‘coach’.
From the mid1970s when Birth Choices/Birth Plans were advocated the Natural Birth Movement and Homebirth midwives said ‘Fathers shouldn’t coach, they should be advocates for a woman’s choice because women know what they want’.
Now we are here. I can imagine 50 years later had everyone acknowledged that being skilled to do the activity of giving birth in all circumstances could give each woman the ability to cope, manage, work through, deal with, handle, stay on top of and feel in control regardless of the circumstances.
Had we done that back then, the majority of women would have self-learned some level of skill and realized that they can’t change the circumstances, however, with skills they don’t have to feel out of control .